How pleasant it is to not be writing today
not needing to pay intense attention to any moment.
How good it is not to have to be really good at anything
I do today
I can play my fiddle badly or just go sit in Bughouse Square.
I don’t have to be ultra awake talking to my neighbor
or sitting in the dentist’s chair.
I have no need to be guilty
for not writing all the damn time.
It’s much better to wander the ancient streets of Lamu
with tiny children who cry Jambo, Jambo until
I return their greeting.
Or to amble over to my neighborhood barber shop
for the monthly amateur political stylings
of Hector and Mario.
Why try to think of anything
meaningful to say
or get impatient with the
junk I write?
I needn’t be precise with my words today
or brilliant or brave or even fair.
I’ll not be writing.
Today I don’t have to pursue
metaphor or simile like an urban coyote
searching out a toy poodle.
Instead I can float down
the Thames to Hampton Court
stop for a summer shandy and raucous songs
in my favorite pub.
I can sit and contemplate ghostly
chimney vapors casting shadows on the building
next door before I take a notion to look
for my high school yearbooks because
I can’t quite remember what Cynthia looked like back then.
It’s perfectly suitable to ride the 157 bus
end to end
Spend time at Cape May or Belmont Harbor
or have the supreme flat bread breakfast with Karen
at Pierrot Gourmet in the Peninsula
and argue whether to use a tip calculator or just wing it.
I am a poet nonetheless.
I roam about
pray for happenstance – perchance inspiration
and worry I might miss its dawn.
Such trials notwithstanding
poetry is my excuse to look
listen and maybe